GOLDEN VENUS by David M. Smythe


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A highly fictionalized biography of Jeanne Becu, Mme. du Barry, the mistress of Louis XV for the six years prior to his death. Since history books are fairly silent on the subject of du Barry's personality, perhaps a certain amount of invention is only fair. However, it seems a fairly safe bet that Jeanne might have been surprised at this version of herself as an innocent girl whose dearest dream was to find Mr. Right, and who, after various disappointments which may have left her sadder but certainly richer, at last found.... the King of France. A number of facts seem to be altered too. As a novel, however, the book has a certain charm, as it prattles along from one splendid bedroom to another, paying little attention to the grownups or politics, a charm perhaps resembling that of du Barry herself. This adds an extra dimension of horror to the violence at the close; Louis rotting alive with smallpox; Brissac, whom she loved, torn to pieces by the mob; Versailles stormed; du Barry herself railroaded to the guillotine. But even if this tale of a poor girl risen to truly glittering heights isn't exactly either literature or history, it is enjoyable.

Publisher: Doubleday